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Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations

by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
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DAILY ALERT

September 21, 2005

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In-Depth Issues:

After the Breaching of the Gaza-Egyptian Border - The Price of Weapons Dropped - Alex Fishman (Yediot Ahronot-Hebrew, 21Sep05)
    According to Israeli security sources, the breach in the Philadelphi corridor led to the flooding of Gaza with weaponry and a 50% drop in prices.
    Kalashnikov assault rifles were 9,100 shekels - now 4,500 shekels.
    Hand grenades were 1,300 shekels - now 500-600 shekels.
    Bullets were 30 shekels a piece - now 8 shekels.
    Military sources said the weapons flooding Gaza included anti-tank missiles.

    See also IDF: No "Tie-Breaker" Arms Smuggled into Gaza - Gideon Alon and Amos Harel (Ha'aretz)
    Powerful "tie-breaker weaponry," such as long-range Katyusha rockets and shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles, was not smuggled into Gaza when the Egyptian border was left largely open in the days following the Israeli withdrawal, the head of the IDF Military Intelligence Research Division said Wednesday.


Closed Circuit TV Shows London Bombers' Practice Run (Evening Standard-UK)
    Three of the four London suicide bombers prepared for their lethal terrorist mission by staging a dry run just nine days before July 7, police have said.
    They arrived at King's Cross station on the morning of June 28 and spent more than three hours in the capital, checking their timing, security, and the layout of the underground network.
    See photo (Reuters/Yahoo)


Workers of Gaza Unite! - Amira Hass (Ha'aretz)
    The Independent Workers Committees in Gaza have added another demand to the PA: the indictment of whoever ordered that live ammunition be fired over the heads of workers and their children who demonstrated in Khan Yunis last Monday.
    The Palestinian police - who vanish whenever a foreign citizen is kidnapped in broad daylight in the streets of Gaza and disappear whenever a gang of armed and masked members of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigade take over a Palestinian Authority building - were out in full (and aggressive) force against several hundred workers and unemployed who staged the protest.
    Abd-as-Samih an-Najjar, the elected head of the group, said, "We shouted at them [the police], 'In Neve Dekalim, the Israeli army stood in front of the settlers for days on end and did not harm them, while you, our national police force, throws tear gas at us within five minutes.'"


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News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:

  • Rice: "Fundamental Contradiction between Armed Activities and the Political Process"
    After a Middle East Quartet meeting at the UN on Tuesday, Secretary of State Rice said: "[We] talked about the fact that the security situation simply has to improve, that you cannot have a sense of lawlessness, that the Palestinians have to do a better job on the security front and in beginning to deal with terrorism."
        "You cannot have kind of an armed option within the democratic process. But we understand that the Palestinian political system is in transition, that it is in transition toward a democratic system, and that that has to be a Palestinian process. We would hope that the elections can go forward and that everyone will cooperate to make those elections go forward because elections are fundamental to the continued evolution and development of the Palestinian process. That said, again, we have noted that ultimately it is the case that there is a fundamental contradiction between armed activities and the political process." (State Department)
  • Quartet: "Dismantle Terrorist Capabilities and Infrastructure"
    "The Quartet calls for an end to all violence and terror. While the PA leadership has condemned violence and has sought to encourage Palestinian groups who have engaged in terrorism to abandon this course and engage in the democratic process, the Quartet further urges the Palestinian Authority to maintain law and order and dismantle terrorist capabilities and infrastructure. The Quartet reaffirms the continued importance of comprehensive reform of the Palestinian security services. The rule of law through authorized security institutions is fundamental to democratic practice."
        "The Quartet calls for renewed action in parallel by both parties on their obligations in accordance with the sequence of the Roadmap....The Quartet reaffirms that any final agreement must be reached through negotiation between the parties and that a new Palestinian state must be truly viable with contiguity in the West Bank and connectivity to Gaza....The Quartet continues to note with concern the route of the Israeli separation barrier, particularly as it results in the confiscation of Palestinian land, cuts off the movement of people and goods, and undermines Palestinians' trust in the Roadmap process as it appears to prejudge the final borders of a Palestinian state." (United Nations)
        See also At UN, Sharon Is Praised for Gaza Pullout - Colum Lynch (Washington Post)
        See also Quartet Impatient for More Withdrawals - Herb Keinon
    "What happens in the West Bank is very much on our mind," UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan said. "For us, the Quartet, it's Gaza first and then the next stage will be the West Bank, not Gaza first and Gaza last." (Jerusalem Post)
  • News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:

  • Israeli Foreign Minister at UN: "Hamas Seeks to Destroy Everything the International Community Seeks to Build"
    Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom told the UN General Assembly on Tuesday: "Two days ago in Gaza, the terrorist organization Hamas held a rally of ten thousand armed men dedicated to a Holy War against Israel. Like al-Qaeda, and the other organizations in the global network of terror, Hamas seeks to destroy everything that the international community, and the moderates in our region, seek to build - tolerance, democracy, peace. Hamas is responsible for the deliberate murder of hundreds of Israeli civilians - among them scores of women and children. Israel cannot - and will not - grant legitimacy to such an organization. We will not cooperate with its desire to participate in the forthcoming Palestinian elections. And we call on the international community to make clear its own opposition to the inclusion of such terrorists in the democratic process." (Foreign Ministry)
        See also Israel Declares Candidacy for Security Council Seat
    Israeli Foreign Minister Shalom told the General Assembly: "Israel seeks to take its rightful place, as a country with full and equal rights in this institution. This is why I have decided to present - for the first time - Israel's candidacy for membership in the Security Council."  (United Nations)
  • UK Apologizes for "Almog Incident" - Diana Bahur-Nir
    British Foreign Secretary Straw apologized to Israeli Foreign Minister Shalom Monday over the near arrest of former IDF Gaza Strip commander Maj.-Gen. (res.) Doron Almog last week in London. "This incident was very embarrassing to us," said Straw. Almog was supposed to visit London last week to gather donations for a disabled children's village, but was advised by Israel's ambassador to Great Britain not to leave the aircraft after a Muslim group threatened to have him arrested for "war crimes." Straw said, "As a government, we will formulate a clear stand on the matter. There is no question that the current situation cannot continue." (Ynet News)
  • Palestinian Plotted to Kill Former Chief Rabbi - Tal Rosner
    The Jerusalem Magistrates Court Tuesday convicted Palestinian Moussa Darwish, of Isawiah north of Jerusalem, of plotting to assassinate former Sephardi Chief Rabbi Ovadia Yosef. Darwish joined the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine in 2000 while working in a vegetable store located near Yosef's home. He made deliveries to the rabbi's home and therefore knew exactly where his security guards and cameras were positioned. His cell was in close contact with senior Popular Front members incarcerated in Jericho prison following the murder of former Israeli Tourism Minister Rehavam Zeevi. (Ynet News)
  • Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):

  • The Palestinians' Turn - Editorial
    Prime Minister Sharon made clear at the UN that, having taken a giant step, involving "painful concessions, in order to resolve the conflict," Israel will now wait for the Palestinians to make the next move. "Now it is the Palestinians' turn to prove the desire for peace," he said, adding they must "put an end to terror and its infrastructure, eliminate the anarchic regime of armed gangs, and cease the incitement and indoctrination of hatred towards Israel and the Jews." "The focus should be on Gaza now," he said. "Can they run a country? Can they stop the violence?"
        The early signs are not good: Terrorists are running rampant and have flooded the territory with thousands of fighters and significant arms. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has shown no inclination or ability to bring the terrorist hordes under control. (New York Post)
        See also Palestinian Leader Appears Weak, Isolated - Lara Sukhtian
    Abbas is having trouble imposing order in Gaza, and he is cut off from his people by a wall of bodyguards. His government faces a no-confidence vote in parliament, and his main rival, Hamas, is parading its private army in the streets. (AP/Washington Post)
  • Out of Gaza's Chaos - Editorial
    The most powerful force in Gaza today is not the PA but Hamas, the militant group that seeks to wipe Israel off the map and has led the terrorist assault on the Jewish state over the past few years. It is a token of the PA's atrocious record that a poisonous organization like Hamas can look honest and decent by comparison. Hamas intends to contest this January's Palestinian election and stands to do well, perhaps even to win. That would be taken as a clear sign by Israel that talks over further Israeli withdrawals or future peace are futile. (Globe and Mail-Canada)
  • New York Times Reports Palestinian Obligations as Israeli Demands - Alex Safian
    In his story on upcoming Palestinian elections, "Israel to Disrupt Palestinian Vote if Hamas Runs," (Sept. 17, 2005), reporter Joel Brinkley portrayed as a unilateral Israeli demand what is in fact a Palestinian obligation under the Oslo Accords to bar terror groups from elections. Annex 2 of the Interim Agreement clearly requires the Palestinians to bar terror groups like Hamas from the electoral process: "The nomination of any candidates, parties or coalitions will be refused, and such nomination or registration once made will be canceled, if such candidates, parties or coalitions...pursue the implementation of their aims by unlawful or nondemocratic means." If Hamas suicide bombings against civilians are not "unlawful means," then what would be? (CAMERA)
  • Observations:

    Diplomatic Hypocrisy - Diana West (Washington Times)

    • Maybe it was that last $50 million that George W. Bush forked over to the Palestinian Authority in May that made the Gaza transfer so... What was Condoleezza Rice's word for the lawless Palestinian stampede of looting and desecration that erupted after the Israeli withdrawal? "Successful." Israeli-Palestinian coordination on this territorial handover was so very... How did Miss Rice describe the dynamic that led to the flags of jihad terrorism being hoisted into a sky darkened by burning synagogues? "Effective."
    • Since the Oslo "peace process" began in 1993, Palestinians have received more than $1.5 billion from the U.S. - more aid, as the San Francisco Chronicle pointed out, than from any other single country. The Atlantic Monthly's David Samuel tallied up post-Oslo PA aid at $7 billion. This year the U.S. will double last year's $275 million PA aid package, paying out $550 million.
    • In July, the Group of 8 countries couldn't pile up money for the PA fast enough, agreeing by 2008 to present its government - which by then could very well include landslide-elected terrorists from Hamas, Islamic Jihad, al-Qaeda, whatever - with $9 billion. Have we paid for a "peace process" or have we financed holy war (jihad)? Have we just helped create a terrorist state?

        See also Funding Palestinian Terror - Rachel Ehrenfeld and Paul Vallely (Washington Times)

    • The U.S. government has exempted itself - and gone against its established policy on terror, again - from requirements to stop terror financing by giving $50 million to the Palestinian Authority, which continues to incite and support terrorism and provide sanctuary for known and established terrorist organizations.
    • In June 2003, the U.S. Agency for International Development demanded that all U.S. tax-exempt organizations partnering with Palestinian NGOs obtain from the Palestinians an antiterrorism certification which, among other things, guarantees that: "The Recipient has not provided, and will take all reasonable steps to ensure that it does not and will not knowingly provide material support or resources to any individual or entity that commits, attempts to commit, advocates, facilitates, or participates in terrorist acts, or has committed, attempted to commit, facilitated, or participated in terrorist acts."
    • The U.S. government has exempted itself from these requirements by ignoring the PA's continuing violations of the agreements they signed to stop terror activities and incitement for terrorism, as demonstrated by PA Minister for Civil Affairs Muhammad Dahlan's Aug. 13 statement in the midst of the Israeli disengagement from Gaza. Dahlan stated, "This is a day for the people, so it can celebrate in honor of the sacrifice of the shahids [martyrs]."
    • The PA also funds incitement against the U.S., calling for attacks against American soldiers in Iraq.


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